A while back I watched a movie about a child mathematic prodigy called “Gifted”. It follows the tragic story of a tortured genius and her desire to have her also genius daughter lead a normal, happy life. It got me thinking about this classic image many of us have about the “tortured genius”. Intelligence and genius are measured empirically with relevant IQ tests, which are often also coupled with EI, or Emotional Intelligence tests. So I wondered, what about people who score high on the EI tests, are they some sort of tortured emotional genius?
I came across this 2014 Huffington Post article, following the death of actor-comedian Robin Williams that discusses the tortured genius concept. It highlights a very important point that not all tortured souls are geniuses, and not all geniuses are tortured souls. The concept we have is actually a very complicated collection of environmental, biological and behavioural variables. It considers “genius” in this sense likened to creativity. Creativity again is a concept I, and I’m sure most people link closely to emotion. So the tortured genius could be the tortured creative, which in essence is a tortured emotive. I reckon that’s true, but I also reckon the nature of torture these people experience, as there are different types of intelligence, academic genius is different based on discipline – biology and physics scientists minds’ must be somewhat different. Similarly a musician and painter might draw from a similar emotional reserve, but the way in which they process it is clearly not the same. I also think the level of “genius” determines how tortured, and what triggers the torturing are. In effect, we’re all a little tortured soul to some degree.
This was a very short opinion post, but I hope it made you consider things you normally don’t, or maybe even just consider things differently for a short while. I would love to hear your opinion on the topic so drop me a line on social media, the comments or contact section. I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, have an AWESOME life you tortured little souls! 🙂